Tips for Enjoying Nassau County’s Champion Trees

Heard of bird watching? How about tree watching? Thanks to northeast Florida’s beautiful surroundings, Amelia National Golf & Country Club residents can enjoy both.

If you’re unfamiliar, bird watching is a popular outdoor activity for nature and wildlife enthusiasts alike.Tips for Enjoying Nassau County’s Champion Trees It’s identifying the bird species you spot around you. Many bird watchers also enjoy photographing birds they spot, and the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail makes it easy with a list of well-known bird habitats around the state.

But what about those trees? While you scout birds, you also can scout the trees where they roost. Because — who knows? — you also might spot a champion tree species.

Birds and trees thrive here

Amelia National sits amid some amazing natural beauty. This master-planned community — one of ICI Homes’ signatures — sits 10 minutes west of Amelia Island, the historic harbor town of Fernandina Beach, and some of Florida’s best-known Atlantic beaches and state parks.

There’s so much do at home — a Tom Fazio-designed golf course, tennis center, resort-style swimming pool, fitness center and French Provincial clubhouse — that you may have to schedule bird- and tree-watching forays.

But as you track birds on hiking trails and in parks and your Amelia National backyard, pay attention if you spot an impressive-looking tree. It could be a contender for the Florida Champion Tree Register.

What it is

The coastal forests in this part of Florida are filled with multiple species of live oaks, palms, pines and many more.

The American Forests organization began the Champion Tree Program in 1940. Its goal was to document the largest known tree of a species in the United States and the effort continues today. Each year, American Forests publishes a National Register of Champion Trees.

The state of Florida debuted its Florida Champion Tree Register in 1975. It documents the largest known specimen of a species in Florida. Any native and non-invasive naturalized tree species is eligible for the state register, which now lists hundreds of trees.

Some Florida Champion Trees also are National Champion Trees

As of this writing, there are four Florida Champion Trees located in Nassau County — Amelia National’s home county. A Tough Bumelia (a type of broadleaf tree), a Loblolly Pine, and a Spruce Pine and a Sugarberry (also a type of broadleaf tree).

The best part? Anyone can nominate a tree for state-champion status, including Amelia National residents who love to explore the area’s forests and those near their own backyards.

The state’s website provides a list of native species currently without Florida Champion Trees, plus directions for measuring and submitting a tree for consideration.

Do watch your Ps and Qs if you discover a tree on private property (not yours) that you think could be Florida Champion Tree material. You’ll need to notify the property owner or owners for permission to do so.

Ready for your Amelia National lifestyle? Talk to ICI Homes here.